I have to admit that I’m feeling stretched thin as of late, uncomfortably so. Aside from all of my real-world commitments (which are many, some of which I don’t disclose here), I’m holding on to too many worries that either a) I can’t do anything about or b) I’ve done as much as I can on or c) aren’t even my problem. Tonight is the night I intend to list them out and convince myself to let go of as many as possible. Why? Because I’m at the point where I can’t pay attention to any one thing for any decent stretch of time.
Being a worrier can play against you. One thing on my mind right now, with the end of our government contract looming, is interviewing–it’s hard to play worrying up as a strength and it’s nothing short of a curse during the process. However, in some ways, it makes me a better coder: it makes me more alert to potential conflicts, problems, and risks. It even contributes to the team: I make a great devil’s advocate and am a pretty decent rubber duck. Sadly, these are soft skills that I’ve never been asked about in an interview and I think that’s a real shame. It seems like something people should care about in a team member.
In my private life, worrying can work as a real motivator to get things done and to plan, plan, plan. I do things like plan our summer vacation a year in advance. I make spreadsheets to track the kids’ Christmas presents: what are we buying? has it been ordered? has it arrived? been wrapped? My packing list spreadsheet is a multiple worksheet wonder, copied from a prototype spreadsheet and then lovingly customized for each specific trip. And though spreadsheets have their place tracking minutiae, nothing beats the family Trello board for day-to-day life management.
So tonight I will take my awesome planning skills and apply them to analyzing everything that seems to be weighing me down, breaking down worries into categories so that I can put everything into proper perspective and cut the dead weight from my mind. I don’t believe that I’m stretched as thin as I feel and if I’m wrong, some good planning is my best defense. I’ve got a passel of sticky notes and some large sheets of paper to work with to make it a tactile and thus, for me, a more visceral process. I do believe I can turn this around and even have some fun while sorting it out in the cheerful company of my husband and a glass of beer. Lemons to lemonade? Definitely.